A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2

With the unveiling of EPA’s new Clean Power Plan, which seeks to more strictly regulate Carbon Dioxide (CO2) emissions in the US, viewers might find interesting a high-resolution simulation of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere released by NASA last fall. According to the NASA press release: “An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe. Plumes of carbon dioxide in the simulation swirl and shift as winds disperse the greenhouse gas away from its sources.” One item of particular interest is the huge disparity in CO2 concentrations between the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern; the Southern being much lower given it’s much lower population and industrialization. Also of interest are the daily oscillations that are visible in heavily forested areas such as the Amazon where the massive forests absorb nightly much of the CO2 that had been emitted the previous day. The US, Europe, Russia, and China appear in the simulation to be the most significant hot spots of CO2 emissions. To watch the 1-yr animation, and to read the full article on the simulation, click on the link below.


For a closer look at specific regions of the world such as North America, click on this link:


Image Credit: NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center